Favorite Asian Movies

by José Pedro Gomes | created - 21 Nov 2010 | updated - 27 Jun 2012 | Public

Works of several genres on asian cinnema that express something important as a piece of art, history or culture. Drama, Historical, Martial Arts, Animation, you name it.

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1. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 87,515 | Gross: $3.52M

This marvelous historical drama reflects the hipocrasy inherent to politics and power strategies leaving true hearts to fiction or death. Like a Shakespeare piece, it reflects the strings of reality pushing the concept tragedy to medieval Japan.

2. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001)

R | 172 min | Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
91 Metascore

The telling of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community and one warrior's endurance and battle of its menace.

Director: Zacharias Kunuk | Stars: Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq, Lucy Tulugarjuk

Votes: 5,819 | Gross: $3.79M

Although this is not an asian movie but an innuit production, I decided to label it as so because of the similarities.

3. Yurîka (2000)

217 min | Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
78 Metascore

The traumatized survivors of a murderous bus hijacking come together and take a road trip to attempt to overcome their damaged selves. Meanwhile a serial killer is on the loose.

Director: Shinji Aoyama | Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Aoi Miyazaki, Masaru Miyazaki, Yôichirô Saitô

Votes: 2,940 | Gross: $0.05M

4. White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Using extensive interviews with survivors and archival footage, an examination reveals the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Director: Steven Okazaki | Stars: Harold Agnew, Shuntaro Hida, Kiyoko Imori, Morris Jeppson

Votes: 1,463

5. Lady Vengeance (2005)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
75 Metascore

After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim, Yea-young Kwon

Votes: 59,760 | Gross: $0.21M

6. Oldeuboi (2003)

R | 120 min | Mystery, Thriller

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
74 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 410,906 | Gross: $0.71M

7. Goemon (2009)

128 min | Action, Drama, History

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Based on a Japanese folk legend that echoes the tale of Robin Hood, this ninja thriller follows the exploits of Goemon Ishikawa (Yôsuke Eguchi), who leaves his fighting clan after its chief... See full summary »

Director: Kazuaki Kiriya | Stars: Yôsuke Eguchi, Takao Ohsawa, Ryôko Hirosue, Jun Kaname

Votes: 4,676

8. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

R | 129 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
56 Metascore

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim

Votes: 51,656 | Gross: $0.05M

9. Enter the Dragon (1973)

R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

Director: Robert Clouse | Stars: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri

Votes: 83,420 | Gross: $25.00M

10. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
85 Metascore

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 89,924 | Gross: $2.73M

11. In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

NC-17 | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Horror

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima | Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Eiko Matsuda, Aoi Nakajima, Yasuko Matsui

Votes: 14,813

12. Kagemusha (1980)

PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ken'ichi Hagiwara, Jinpachi Nezu

Votes: 26,155

13. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

PG-13 | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
93 Metascore

A young Chinese warrior steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man in the frontier of the nation.

Director: Ang Lee | Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang

Votes: 230,301 | Gross: $128.08M

14. Casshern (2004)

142 min | Action, Sci-Fi

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Live-action sci-fi movie based on a 1973 Japanese animé of the same name (Shinzo Ningen Casshân). Theme song by Utada Hikaru.

Director: Kazuaki Kiriya | Stars: Yûsuke Iseya, Kumiko Asô, Akira Terao, Kanako Higuchi

Votes: 12,543

15. Memories of Murder (2003)

Not Rated | 132 min | Action, Crime, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
82 Metascore

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song

Votes: 83,465 | Gross: $0.01M

16. Tasogare Seibei (2002)

129 min | Drama, History

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
82 Metascore

As the feudal Japan era draws to a close, a widower samurai experiences difficulty balancing 2 young daughters, an aged mother, clan loyalties, and the sudden reappearance of his childhood sweetheart.

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Hiroyuki Sanada, Rie Miyazawa, Nenji Kobayashi, Ren Osugi

Votes: 19,395

17. Dung che sai duk (1994)

R | 100 min | Action, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
69 Metascore

A broken-hearted hit man moves to the desert where he finds skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung

Votes: 11,168 | Gross: $0.17M

18. Sorum (2001)

R | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A 30 year old mystery resurfaces and takes over the lives of the people living in an eerie apartment complex.

Director: Jong-chan Yun | Stars: Jin-young Jang, Myung-min Kim, Lee Gang-Yeop, Ju-bong Gi

Votes: 760

19. Bushi no ichibun (2006)

PG-13 | 121 min | Drama, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A look at the relationship between a young blind samurai (Kimura) and his wife, who will make a sacrifice in order to defend her husband's honor.

Director: Yôji Yamada | Stars: Takuya Kimura, Rei Dan, Mitsugorô Bandô, Takashi Sasano

Votes: 2,734 | Gross: $0.02M

20. Kikujiro (1999)

PG-13 | 122 min | Drama, Comedy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
44 Metascore

A young, naive boy sets out alone on the road to find his wayward mother. Soon he finds an unlikely protector in a crotchety man and the two have a series of unexpected adventures along the way.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Yusuke Sekiguchi, Kayoko Kishimoto, The Great Gidayû

Votes: 15,841 | Gross: $0.20M

21. Dolls (2002)

114 min | Drama, Romance

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
71 Metascore

Three stories of never-ending love.

Director: Takeshi Kitano | Stars: Miho Kanno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tatsuya Mihashi, Kyoko Fukada

Votes: 14,209 | Gross: $0.00M

22. Baran (2001)

PG | 94 min | Drama, Romance

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
79 Metascore

In a building site in present-day Tehran, Lateef, a 17-year-old Turkish worker is irresistibly drawn to Rahmat, a young Afghan worker. The revelation of Rahmat's secret changes both their lives.

Director: Majid Majidi | Stars: Hossein Abedini, Zahra Bahrami, Mohammad Amir Naji, Hossein Mahjoub

Votes: 6,792 | Gross: $0.13M

23. My Son the Fanatic (1997)

R | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Pakistani taxi-driver Parvez and prostitute Bettina find themselves trapped in the middle when Islamic fundamentalists decide to clean up their local town.

Director: Udayan Prasad | Stars: Om Puri, Rachel Griffiths, Akbar Kurtha, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 1,490 | Gross: $0.41M

24. The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)

R | 102 min | Action, Comedy

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
74 Metascore

A young martial artist is caught between respecting his pacifist father's wishes or stopping a group of disrespectful foreigners from stealing precious artifacts.

Director: Chia-Liang Liu | Stars: Jackie Chan, Ho-Sung Pak, Lung Ti, Anita Mui

Votes: 37,716 | Gross: $11.55M

25. Hadashi no Gen (1983)

83 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people.

Director: Mori Masaki | Stars: Issei Miyazaki, Catherine Battistone, Yoshie Shimamura, Iona Morris

Votes: 5,836

26. Sukai kurora (2008)

PG-13 | 122 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A group of eternally young fighter pilots known as Kildren experience the sudden loss of innocence as they battle the enemy in astonishing dogfights above the clouds.

Director: Mamoru Oshii | Stars: Rinko Kikuchi, Ryo Kase, Shôsuke Tanihara, Megumi Yamaguchi

Votes: 4,804

27. Afro Samurai (2007)

TV-MA | 125 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Black samurai goes on a mission to avenge the wrongful death of his father in a futuristic feudal Japan.

Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Phil LaMarr, Yuri Lowenthal, Greg Eagles

Votes: 12,755

28. Metropolis (2001)

PG-13 | 108 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
75 Metascore

Kenichi and his uncle Shunsaku Ban must find the mystery behind robot girl Tima.

Director: Rintaro | Stars: Toshio Furukawa, Scott Weinger, Yuka Imoto, Kei Kobayashi

Votes: 18,120 | Gross: $0.64M

29. Ying xiong (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
85 Metascore

A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Jet Li, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ziyi Zhang

Votes: 159,023 | Gross: $53.71M

30. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2002)

110 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
65 Metascore

Two youths sent for a Maoist "re-education" in the mountains fall in love with the village tailor's granddaughter.

Director: Sijie Dai | Stars: Xun Zhou, Kun Chen, Ye Liu, Shuangbao Wang

Votes: 3,964 | Gross: $0.67M

31. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami, Kinnosuke Takamatsu

Votes: 2,444

32. Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Not Rated | 83 min | Animation, Action, Crime

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
76 Metascore

A cyborg policewoman and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Director: Mamoru Oshii | Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Kôichi Yamadera

Votes: 104,776 | Gross: $0.52M

33. Dead Leaves (2004)

Not Rated | 55 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two awaken on Earth with no recollection of their past and embark on a devastating crime spree but are sent to an infamous lunar penitentiary named Dead Leaves.

Director: Hiroyuki Imaishi | Stars: Kappei Yamaguchi, Takako Honda, Yûko Mizutani, Mitsuo Iwata

Votes: 2,891

34. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)

R | 103 min | Drama, Romance

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
85 Metascore

A boy is raised by a Buddhist monk on an isolated floating temple where the years pass like the seasons.

Director: Ki-duk Kim | Stars: Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim, Young-min Kim

Votes: 67,624 | Gross: $2.38M

35. Mother (2009)

R | 129 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
79 Metascore

A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

Director: Joon-ho Bong | Stars: Hye-ja Kim, Bin Won, Goo Jin, Je-mun Yun

Votes: 32,792 | Gross: $0.55M

36. Tachiguishi retsuden (2006)

104 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A fictional documentary about changing Japanese eating habits and the colorful thieves that swindle the restaurants which serve them.

Director: Mamoru Oshii | Stars: Yoshikazu Fujiki, Mako Hyôdô, Yoshikazu Ishii, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa

Votes: 184

37. Meitantei Conan (1996– )

TV-14 | 25 min | Animation, Comedy, Crime

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The cases of a detective whose physical age was chemically reversed to that of a prepubescent boy but must hide his true mental development.

Stars: Minami Takayama, Wakana Yamazaki, Akira Kamiya, Wataru Takagi

Votes: 8,318

38. Kid's Story (2003)

15 min | Animation, Sci-Fi, Short

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A teenager's dreams which conclude with him falling off a building, lead him to believe that the reality he lives in, may not be so real after all.

Director: Shinichirô Watanabe | Stars: Clayton Watson, Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, John DeMita

Votes: 5,226

39. Matriculated (2003)

16 min | Animation, Sci-Fi, Short

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Using the Matrix, a resistance group attempts to recruit a sentinel to their cause.

Director: Peter Chung | Stars: Melinda Clarke, Dwight Schultz, Rodney Saulsberry, James Arnold Taylor

Votes: 3,356

40. Persepolis (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
90 Metascore

A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution.

Directors: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi | Stars: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Danielle Darrieux

Votes: 77,036 | Gross: $4.44M

41. Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

PG-13 | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
73 Metascore

On Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents.

Directors: Satoshi Kon, Shôgo Furuya | Stars: Tôru Emori, Yoshiaki Umegaki, Aya Okamoto, Shôzô Îzuka

Votes: 23,126 | Gross: $0.13M

42. World Record (2003)

10 min | Animation, Sci-Fi, Short

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An athlete, Dan, breaks out of the matrix through a feat of strength and gets a brief glimse of the real world outside his existance.

Director: Takeshi Koike | Stars: Victor Williams, John Wesley, Alex Fernandez, Allison Smith

Votes: 3,594

43. To Live (1994)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama, War

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: You Ge, Li Gong, Ben Niu, Wu Jiang

Votes: 12,981 | Gross: $2.33M

44. Kokuhaku (2010)

Not Rated | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter's death.

Director: Tetsuya Nakashima | Stars: Takako Matsu, Yoshino Kimura, Masaki Okada, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 29,515

45. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 256,097 | Gross: $0.27M

46. Yi ge dou bu neng shao (1999)

G | 106 min | Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
73 Metascore

In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »

Director: Yimou Zhang | Stars: Minzhi Wei, Huike Zhang, Zhenda Tian, Enman Gao

Votes: 7,243 | Gross: $0.59M